I've been away from my little girls for eight days and the it's tested my resolution against guilt. Even though I made the trip to supervise our oldest girl, and I knew in advance I'd have to miss our middle daughter's seventh birthday, I felt sad to be absent. (We scheduled her birthday party before the trip.) The times when someone brought up her birthday were especially painful.
Maybe it's a truism that no matter how confident you are in a decision -- like spending a week one-on-one with an 18-year old the year before she leaves for college -- you still may regret the tradeoffs. Certainly, when I recently missed that same daughter's Valentine's party at school, I felt a twinge of sadness hearing the other parents describe the event. I would make the same choice if I had a do-over, but that didn't keep me from wishing I could be in two places at once.
It's interesting to me that it seems to be in conversation with other adults, especially other parents, that guilt rears its ugly head. They never say anything hurtful, but I imagine what they must be thinking and wonder whether they're judging me. That makes me question my own well-considered decisions. In fact, I hesitated before writing this blog post, for fear that readers would think I'm an awful mom, too.
What do you make of all this? Are you able to make a decision about where to spend your time and not look back or second guess? Or, like the readers who recently commented about working moms angst, is it a continual struggle?
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